The Five Stages of Sleep

The Five Stages if Sleep

Two in five people don’t get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep a night. Even if you are getting the correct amount of sleep – is it the right KIND of sleep? Are you hitting the critical Five Stages of Sleep? Is your health being impacted by your sleep cycles? Let’s find out.

A healthy sleep cycle can benefit you in countless ways: It can improve your memory, help you to live longer, and control inflammation linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging. It can spur creativity, athletic ability, work and school performance, and attention span. It can support weight loss, keep stress low, and ease depression. Beyond health benefits, knowing and controlling your sleep cycle can assist with more spiritual sleep endeavors like out of body experiences, lucid dreaming, dream recall, and sleep healing. The first step is understanding your sleep cycle and the stages you go through during a healthy night of good sleep. Once you have a solid sleep cycle you can move into more advanced techniques like lucid dreaming or dream recall. Visit for the next step to your perfect night after you have mastered the five stages of sleep. Ready to begin?

Infographic: 5 Stages of Sleep

A sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and during that time we move through five stages of sleep. In the first 5-10 minutes of laying down after a long day you are in the Drowsy Phase of your sleep cycle. This is the transition between wakefulness and sleep where the brain produces theta waves. You are starting to enter deep relaxation. The brain waves are slowed down at a frequency of 4-7 cycles per second and you begin to relax. This is also a common state for meditation and is considered to be the perfect state of calm when achieved. Consider Theta brain waves to be the subconscious. They govern the part of our mind that lies between the conscious and the unconscious and retain memories and feelings. In this state you might find your mind starting to enter a creative mode, characterized by feelings of inspiration or spirituality. For most, this will simply be state of relaxation; but masters of sleep believe that this mental state allows you to act below the level of the conscious mind and use it for brainstorming, spiritual healing, and cognitive observance.

5 Stages of Sleep

After you have moved past being drowsy you will be in the Light Sleep Phase. Your brain will start to produce rhythmic brainwaves known as sleep spindles. These are sporadic bursts of brain activity as you begin to transition from drowsy to light sleep. Your body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate starts to decline. Your brain will be operating primarily in a Theta State, while getting progressively slower. Ideally your transition between drowsy and light sleep should be smooth, but this step is often a bottleneck for those who have trouble sleeping. If you ever stayed  awake with a racing mind, been affected by stress or depression, or had general unease during this phase of sleep – there are methods that can help. Visit to learn more about brainwave modification and how you can better control and refine the various cycles of sleep. Used by over 10 million people worldwide, they have been helping people with their sleep for over a decade. Ideally, your Light Sleep Phase should only last 20 minutes before you transition into the Moderate Sleep Phase. This is your movement into Delta Sleep, an important and critical sleep milestone to reach.

HowTo Enhance a Dream

As you enter Moderate Sleep and Transition into Deep Sleep, your brain will begin to produce deeper Delta Waves. Delta Waves are associated with the very deepest levels of sleep, relaxation, and peace of mind. Operating at a frequency range that is the slowest of all the brainwaves, Delta Waves are what cause sleep to be restorative, which allow the person to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It is also important for the healing process. During this phase various hormones are being released, and this is what controls many of the body’s unconscious functions, like the heartbeat, digestion, breathing, and many other things we don’t often think about, but actually need.  The Deep Sleep Phase of the night lasts for about 30 minutes, but an important half hour as you prepare for the final stage of sleep, where dreams happen.

What Does Your Dream Mean?

The last stage of sleep before the cycle repeats is the REM Sleep Phase. Muscles become more relaxed while the brain system becomes more active. This stage is where dreaming occurs. It account for 25% of total sleep time in adults. As the name suggests, it is associated with rapid side-to-side movements of the closed eyes. Brain activity during REM sleep is largely characterized by low-amplitude mixed-frequency brain waves, quite similar to those experienced during the waking state – theta waves, alpha waves and even the high frequency beta waves more typical of high-level active concentration and thinking. The brain’s oxygen consumption, reflecting its energy consumption, is also very high during this period, in fact often higher than when awake and working on a complex problem. Lack of REM sleep impairs the ability to learn complex tasks, This is backed by the fact that, if REM sleep is repeatedly interrupted or shortened, then longer REM “rebound sleep” tends to occur at the next opportunity in compensation. In short, interrupted or corrupt REM Sleep cycles will throw off the rest of your sleep pattern as well. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. If you simply “go to sleep” – gaining control over your sleep cycle can greatly improve your quality of life on a level similar to changing your diet or beginning a workout routine.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a controlled sleep cycle, lucid dreams, dream recall, and more please visit Your support helps with the development of the worlds most advanced brain technology, software, apps and tutorials available only at

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6 Replies to “The Five Stages of Sleep”

  1. Jenny Catrolon says:

    Thank you so much for this. I had heard about REM but didn’t know the official stages. It helped me identify some rough spots in my night. I haven’t heard of idoser, but I have used binaurals to help. I will check them out though.

  2. Craig Masterson says:

    I was a little confused thinking you only went though the 5 phases once per night, but read again – you go though them several times. So if REM is bad, it messes up the cycle. This is what happened to me. Went to a sleep center and got some major relief.

  3. Been using iDoser for over 5 years. If you are the type that likes relaxing music or white noise definitely check out I-Doser. Much more effective. I’ve never has problems with sleep but good for lucid dreams.

  4. Freedom Hawl says:

    Thank you so much for this! Was searching for a good explanation of REM and found this article.

  5. matty stimson says:

    +1 for the iDoser App. I dont go to sleep without it.

  6. I have been on a mission to make my sleep better even though it is good. I am having problems with step 2 and working on it. Thanks!

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